Whether you've owned and operated your own mechanic's shop for years or are just getting started, you may find that the pursuit of quality tools seems like a never-ending process. Although the right tools can allow you to get a project done in a fraction of the time it can take with substandard equipment, the prices of many new tools (particularly those necessary for today's more sophisticated electronics) can be hard to justify when you're already dealing with the other expenses of an owner-operator business. Read on to learn more about some of your budget-minded options for outfitting your mechanic's shop with everything from socket sets to used rotary lifts.
Estate liquidation sales
While you may associate estate sales with sets of flatware, fine china, and other antiques, these sales can also be a great opportunity to pounce upon someone's high-quality tool collection. Often, the items being sold at estate sales are those that are simply too unwieldy or difficult to ship to be sold online, allowing you to swoop in and claim them at a lower price than might be obtained from a buyer located farther away.
Although searching through obituaries for mechanics' names you know can seem a bit too morbid, keeping an eye on estate sales in your region (particularly those that provide some listing of the goods being sold prior to the sale) can allow you to investigate and price some of the tools on your wish list without spending an arm and a leg.
If you're loyal to a particular tool manufacturer or retailer, you'll want to do some digging to see whether this company ever offers surplus or "sample" sales. Often, companies will schedule one or two days a year to auction off or sell surplus or discontinued product to free up space on their shelves and in their warehouses. In most cases, the items being sold are brand-new and undamaged, although most pieces are unlikely to be in their original packaging (in order to prevent attempts at unauthorized resale).
In other cases, tools and equipment being sold may have minor cosmetic defects, but no problems that impact function. You'll usually find that having a slightly less aesthetically-pleasing tool at a fraction of the original price of a new one is an excellent trade off, allowing you to complete jobs more quickly, bring in more new customers, and otherwise improve your bottom line.Share